Muddguts is proud to present the first New York solo show of Chris Lux, a San Francisco-based painter and sculptor. Lux is known for work that reflects his multilevel approach to history and visual arts. In his new exhibition “Painting and Drawings,” Lux continues expounding on this theme through numerous flat works, drawing inspiration from the 1944 text *Treasury of American Folklore: Stories, Ballads, and Traditions of the People* by B.A Botkin. As the national folklore editor of the Federal Writers' Project during the New Deal era, Botkin championed a vision of folklore and folk art as an ever-evolving narrative that has as much to do with people's present lives as it does with the past. Lux’s work shares a similar philosophy. In previous projects he has worked with various mythologies—from early Christian saints in his book *12 Saints*(Peradam 2012), to Japanese mythologies in his show “Pot Boiler.” Lux uses folklore as a launchpad to find new ways to update and explore his relation to a distant and often bizarre past.
The variety, slippery nature, and disparate roots of the American folklore stories Lux has tapped for this exhibit (Native mythologies, tale tales and little idiot stories) are reflected in the diversity of style on display. Lux presents this body of work as group of paintings that illustrate these stories in a narrative style. The exhibition's catalog allows the viewer to “follow along” by reading the story as you view the works. Spatially and compositionally the works touch on a pre-literary view of painting, not unlike Lux's previous works based on early Italian frescoes.
As in Botkin's text, history is at the forefront here. Lux asserts that folklore’s power lies in its ability to offer individual perspectives within a shared group history. Lux harnesses folklore and and reinvents it as a personal exploration of the history of painting. Lux's style touches on everything from Les Nabis' Post-impressionistic use of color to contemporary Street Art. An amalgamation of references, the work reflect a broad study and a recognition of the artist's place within the context of art history.
“Painting and Drawings” reflects a contemporary view of the artist carefully crafting his own identity by culling from tradition--discovering his own voice from within the voices of ghosts past.
Chris Lux "Paintings and Drawings"
Opening: Saturday, April 26. 6-9pm.
Muddguts, 41 Montrose Ave, Brooklyn